In Greece olive orchards are stretching as far as the eye can see and they produce the olive oil for which Greece always has been famous.
The origin of the first olive tree for cultivation was from Greece in about 3000 B.C. Today there are almost seventy varieties of olive trees, growing olives for eating or producing oil, the main ingredient used in the Greek cooking.
Usually an olive tree can produce about 130 kilos of olives (250 pounds). The olives are harvested for olive oil before they start to get black. In most places in Greece olives are picked by hand to prevent bruising. Some are shaken into cloths.
The Greek olive oil is very highly rated among olive oils in the olive oil producing world. The best olive oil comes from South Greece, the Peloponnese Peninsula and the island of Crete. It is “liquid gold”.
The olive in the beginning is green, then when it slowly ripens turns light brown, then light purple, and at the final stage black.
The olives when they are picked from the trees are bitter, so they are placed in brine before they can be eaten. The most popular are the Kalamata olives which are black, firm and slightly sweet.